how to be critical

Beware of assumptions….

Knowing how to be critical is part of the business. Anyone who pitches a new idea by me quickly realizes how hard it is to elicit my enthusiasm.  I am a real party pooper at times.  The reason being is that I am an extremely critical thinker, and I love troubleshooting.  I wish more people understood that the more I scrutinize their idea, the more it means I’m actually quite interested.

how to be criticalTo me, scrutinizing idea is like applying the chisel to the sculpture.  You can’t get a finely polished sculpture if you don’t scrape away its imperfections.  The chisel’s job isn’t to destroy but to bring out the sculpture’s full potential.

 

Be your own interrogator….

The first thing my ear listens to when I hear a new idea for a venture is all the assumptions they’re going off of.  As they say, to “ASSUME” can make an ASS of U and ME.  People tend to fall in love with their own ideas.  Even to the point that they ignore important criticism.  It’s similar to that one girl we all know who loves to date losers.  They give you the “You don’t know him like I do” rebuttal.

One way that people make assumptions, is that they assume they know how the market will feel about their idea.  They love the idea, and the 5 people they told think it’s a great idea, so they just know that the market will embrace the idea the moment it’s brought to them.

So, of course, I ask them about the market research they’ve done.  “What driving needs is your service fulfilling?”  “What preconceptions does your current market base carry about their problem?”  “Is there already a market for other solutions to that problem”  “Why is your solution better?”  “How do you know the market will share that view.”  “Where are you getting your data from?”

They have to survive my interrogation before I’ll consider it viable.  Because guess what?  When they can answer all of those questions, it means they’ve actually taken the time to do their due diligence rather than let their assumptions get them off the hook.

This is just one example, but every facet of a business model should have an extensive checklist of questions ready to be answered.  That’s how you build a business off a solid foundation, and immediately start resonating with your market.

In conclusion, be your own worst critic.  If the success of your venture relies on you being right about certain things, you shouldn’t just wing it.  You have to make absolutely sure that the data actually backs up the scenario you’re betting on.  Too many business owners try and sell the market what THEY think is the greatest idea ever.  The successful entrepreneur courts their customers, and studies them as they would their secret crush.  They dedicate themselves to learning every facet of their needs, tastes, and preferences.  It’s about them, not you.

 

 

About The Author

herbertkoehler

I am a college drop out who found my passion as an investor. I love the many facets of finance, investing, and business. But even more than that, I love sharing what I learn with others.

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